The terms front office and back office stem from the distinction – customer facing and support. The front office is typically everything that is customer facing and generating revenue – the revenue or profit centers. The back office is generally everything that is not customer facing, a cost center or an area of the bank the supports others. When you think about these at your bank, you may have to decide priority by choosing where to invest your limited resources. It is important to recognize that the environment of today’s community banks is really not that simple.
Community bankers working in today’s world find themselves wearing several hats, and those hats may be customer facing or back office. Banking is becoming more and more specialized and today’s community bankers are expected to have far more detailed knowledge, including highly specialized topics like compliance with new and ever-changing regulations and the technical aspects of multiple delivery channels. Core providers are expanding services to provide assistance to community banks to help them with these increasing demands.
At Automated Systems, Inc., there are two key services that provide the bank with the opportunity to allow their staff to focus on the front office – IDS Hosting Services and IDS On-Time. We will discuss IDS Hosting Services in a different blog article, so for today we will focus on IDS On-Time.
IDS On-Time is designed to be the operations back office for the community bank, set up to support bank employees. This allows them to focus on the customer, and on their front office. IDS On-Time primarily provides processing and operations support. Processing includes: daily ACH, cash letter, return, outgoing remit, bill pay, EFT/ATM and other similar files. The process also involves securely transferring these files with your chosen third party vendor – correspondent bank, EFT/ATM provider, etc. – and accurately posting to your customers’ accounts. Your bankers have the ability to review any exceptions and to review the overdraft and insufficient funds decisions at your convenience. The back office will then process the bank’s decisions. All files are processed continuously during the day, ensuring Same Day ACH compliance and timely customer account updates. Finally, at the end of the day, the staff of the bank can focus on the customer and then head home. IDS On-Time handles all End-of-Day (EOD) processing, including End-of-Month (EOM) and End-of-Year (EOY).
When your front office staff have questions, such as transaction file postings, returns, NSF/OD, etc., they simply contact the new back office for your bank – IDS On-Time.
Ask yourself, would you rather have your staff invest their time and focus on your customers or have them spend time downloading ACH and cash letter files? Plus, do you want your staff spending a significant amount of their time processing operations in the back office or remaining fully focused on your customers. At IDS On-Time, professional bank service specialists focus on the back office needs of your community bank. Attention is concentrated on the key Service Organization Control (SOC) objectives – Accuracy, Timeliness, Completeness, Security, and Confidentiality. Every aspect of processing is centric to these objectives without, what some back office professionals may consider a distraction, the customers. For your bankers, the customer is your most important aspect of business. For IDS On-Time, it is your community bank.